Too many gentlemen in my India team, only Harbhajan Singh and me held the Indian flag, jokes Sourav Ganguly

Written by Abhishek Patil

Sourav Ganguly, speaking at a studio during the rain interruption in India’s World Cup semifinal against New Zealand on Tuesday, spoke about the Indian team he captained. Going down memory lane, with VVS Laxman at his side, Ganguly replied to a question on what the team’s strategy was to battle the Australia team – especially the mental battles being played out on the field.

Specifically replying to whether there was any strategy to use individuals to target opposition players, Ganguly said, “It was very hard with that team, because we had too many gentlemen. If you ask Rahul Dravid to do that, he’ll come back and say ‘No no no that’s not the right way to play.’ You ask VVS Laxman to do that, he’ll say ‘I’m concentrating on my batting.’ And if you tell Sachin to do it, he will stand at mid-on and tell the mid-wicket fielder to sledge Steve Waugh, and himself not do it.”

Continuing to joke as Laxman and the studio host laughed, Ganguly added, “There were a lot of issues in that team. The only ones holding the Indian flag were Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly. Sardarji did everything I told him to do.”

Ganguly was the captain of the India team from 2000 to 2005, a period when India beat Australia in a Test series at home and drew a Test series in Australia.

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Abhishek Patil